Merriam Webster’s Definition of antisocial:
1 : averse to the society of others : unsociable
2 : hostile or harmful to organized society; especially : being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm
I don’t currently engage in any forms of social media. I thought I did, until I was recently told that LinkedIn is not considered social media. I’ve been told it’s something different, although I’m not exactly sure what that is.
Although I have my concerns about privacy, my main reason for not engaging in social media is the immense amount noise and my inability to disconnect from it. We recently heard confessions from executives at social media companies like Facebook that high-powered computer programs are specifically written to entice people to consistently check their social media feeds and stay on their social media platforms.
Ad space on websites is sold based upon how sticky a website is and social media platforms try to be the stickiest. This is not my grandmothers infomercial or TV commercials during the 10 o’clock news. This is something much more powerful.
I am human and as much as I have tried to set limitations for myself, I am susceptible to these well executed tactics. I found myself endlessly scrolling through feeds and reading articles from multiple sources on the same stories with little to no variation in details. All the while, I was hoping that one outlet would have a detail on the story that another had missed out on. This I believe, is how the idea of fake news came about. If you can’t find the facts, make em up, so long as you keep people “stuck” on the page.
I found this to be a huge waste of time and quite honestly very over stimulating. I already feel like I am inundating myself with information, so I didn’t need that high octane kick from a social media platform. I am currently learning a language, reading a novel, writing articles and such, working full-time, and also trying to be the best husband and a dad.
On top of all I have going on in my life, the little free time I had was spent continuously dragging down to refresh my Twitter account’s feed. In all honesty, there was not much time left for just good old fashioned thinking.
So, back to my original question, does it make people who are not into social media antisocial? Antisocial is defined as being averse to the society of others. Society has embraced social media with open arms and invited it into our jobs, homes and even our kids’ lives. Schools plan events on social media websites like Facebook and share class pictures on Instagram.
What if a parent doesn’t want to use these platforms?
They kind of have to, right? It’s a tough spot to be in as a parent, because nowhere in signing your kids up for school did it say that you would also have to have a Facebook account, but you could also easily just set one up in minutes, so why not?
Over and over again, I see situations where by default, institutions, clubs or even just friends rely heavily on social media, with the assumption that everyone else is on board. If one of those friends, students or members of a group doesn’t partake in social media does it make them antisocial?
I don’t quite know the answer yet, and I am asking you!
“being or marked by behavior deviating sharply from the social norm”